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VERIFY: Billboard in Wyoming County's claim is false

Wondering how much gasoline really does come from Russia? WNEP's Verify team finds out.

TUNKHANNOCK, Pa. — A home heating oil company in Wyoming County is making a big statement outside its facility: a billboard claiming 21% of U.S. gasoline comes from Russia.

The message along Route 6 just outside Tunkhannock is hard to miss. The billboard is owned by Ace-Robbins, a company that sells propane and home heating oil in Wyoming County. 

The billboard states that 21% of United States' gasoline comes from Russia.

Ace-Robbins also sent an email to customers last month blaming Russia's war with Ukraine on a spike in propane and oil prices here in Pennsylvania.

But what about the billboard? 

THE QUESTION: 

Does the United States get 21% of its gasoline from Russia?

OUR SOURCES:

 - The United States Energy Information Administration

 - Gasbuddy.com

THE ANSWER: 

This is false.

21% of gasoline in the United States DOES NOT come from Russia.

According to the USEIA, the U.S. receives petroleum from 73 different countries.

The most, by far, comes from Canada with 51% of total imports.

Next are Mexico and Russia, both with 8%.

The USEIA splits those imports into two categories: crude oil and petroleum products. 

Only 3% of crude oil imported into the U.S. came from Russia in 2021. When it comes to petroleum products that have either been partially or fully refined, Russian imports were higher, 20% last year.

Gasoline is only one kind of petroleum product and made up less than 10% of Russia's petroleum imports to the U.S.

When it comes to Ace-Robbins' claim that Russia's conflict with Ukraine is affecting gas prices here in the U.S., our other source, Patrick DeHaan, from GasBuddy.com, says that's true.

Sanctions on Russian oil created instability in the market.

"U.S. sanctions are far-reaching; a lot of our allies follow along with our sanctions. Sanctions are resulting in Russia's ability to sell much of our crude oil. Not all of it, it is selling some of it top some countries like India and Turkey and China. But it makes it very difficult for that oil to make it to the market, and that's why oil prices have gone up globally because of those sanctions, because, in essence, U.S. sanctions have reduced total global oil supply," DeHaan said.

Newswatch 16 reached out to Ace-Robbins. An official didn't tell us where the company got the statistic that ended up on the billboard. But they say via email that the point of the billboard was to start a conversation with customers about rising prices and U.S. dependency on foreign oil.

See more local Verify stories on WNEP’s YouTube channel.  

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